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By Joy Sepulveda, District 8 Public Information Officer

In August 2013, District 8 Maintenance Superintendent John Hubbs was surprised when he was asked to attend an executive staff meeting with no warning as to why.

He was more shocked when, in that meeting, he was awarded the inaugural International Pavement Management Association (IPMA) Academy Award of Excellence by his supervisor, District 8 Deputy Director of Maintenance, Steve Pusey, and District 8 Director Basem E. Muallem.

He was the first person to complete the Academy coursework and receive this honor.

“He showed a lot of enthusiasm and has the hunger to learn,” said Muallem. “He will champion new products and try to understand all the concepts and new ideas for pavement preventive maintenance.”

Basem E. Muallem, Caltrans District 8 Director (left) and Stephen R. Pusey, Caltrans District 8 Deputy Director of Maintenance (right) present John Hubbs, Caltrans District 8 Maintenance Superintendent, with the inaugural International Pavement Association Award of Excellence.

Basem E. Muallem, Caltrans District 8 Director (left) and Stephen R. Pusey, Caltrans District 8 Deputy Director of Maintenance (right) present John Hubbs, Caltrans District 8 Maintenance Superintendent, with the inaugural International Pavement Association Award of Excellence.

Hubbs was chosen for the award because of his unique analysis of the course material, his enthusiasm for connecting the course material to real on-the-job use, and the initiative he took to engage others taking the course.

Hubbs says he wants to change the attitude of “this is the way we have done it for 50 years” while following the practices and processes that he learned in the IPMA Academy. A 30-year veteran of highway maintenance, Hubbs says that on entering the course he “knew what we did and why we did it, but I didn’t have a complete understanding of the ‘nuts and bolts’ and the science behind some of the newer processes.”

The accredited pavement manager (APM) coursework is based on the “three-legged stool” principle which includes a marriage of pavement management, pavement preservation, and in-place asphalt recycling. The coursework includes 70 hours of training and bonus videos in a 21-week time frame, resulting in an APM designation.